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I am watching a Flash stream. I can watch the same stream in two different players (set up by someone else), but I don't like any of them.

Is there a way I can find/get/extract the direct link to the flash stream that those two players are playing? So that I can watch it using a different player?

Edit: The player is streaming an RTMP stream, not an FLV video file.

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You should be able to packetsniff it with wireshark(wireshark.org/download.html), but I'm sure there must be an easier way. On the other hand, wireshark is a great tool to have installed anyways. –  Fake Name Feb 27 '10 at 11:33
    
Yeah, I have the feeling it is too, I just haven't been able to figure out how to use it. –  Svish Feb 27 '10 at 11:36
    
See "Download flv file from any video site?" at superuser.com/questions/41394/… –  Arjan Feb 27 '10 at 12:20
    
@Arjan: That works when there is an FLV file that is played. Not when it is an RTMP stream (as far as I know anyways). –  Svish Feb 27 '10 at 12:40
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@cipricus: You wouldn't downloadthe actual video, but the SWF to then decompile and get the stream URL. Regarding your confusion, I recommend that you start looking at timestamps if you find accepted answers that look a bit weird. In this case the answer I accepted was the one that gave me what I wanted shortly after I asked the question. Most alternatives were posted long after, and in your case over 4 years after. I'm leaving it as it is since it'll probably still be correct and the answer most "raw". If I did it now, I'd probably use the Firebug version. –  Svish Sep 22 at 18:55

8 Answers 8

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Download and decompile the flash file. The source of the stream should be pretty easy to find.

It's possible that the player is generic, and the file/stream it is playing is being passed in as a param. Grep the webpage source code for "embed"/"swf" or text that's near the flash object on the page. Then look at the contents of "param name"/"param value"

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I only have the swf. There is no script or anything like that. How do you decompile a flash file? –  Svish Feb 27 '10 at 11:59
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I would recommend showmycode.com which is online swf decompiler as it is safer than installing any of the programs from the previous comment's search: "decompile swf". –  Dan D. Apr 28 '12 at 7:26
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Decompiling the SWF is probably the hardest way to do this. Simply opening up Wireshark reveals everything. –  Brad May 18 '13 at 14:59

Firebug for Firefox, and the Google Chrome Developer Tools (built-in to Chrome) can show every HTTP request performed by the browser. They sometimes reveal URLs such as these.

In Firefox, install Firebug (no restart), start the addon by clicking the bug icon (use customize to make it visible - but it should be by default), start the stream, and in the Firebug window click Net tab and then All, maybe refresh the video page. The url should appear when putting the mouse over the line that says something like "GET video", right click on the URL and Copy location.

enter image description here

In Chrome, open the Developer tools, check the Network tab and start playing the file.

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The Network tab in google chrome developer tools doesn't support non-http protocols (at least not rtmp) –  dvb Nov 26 '12 at 14:10
    
@dvb thats true, i also faced the same –  Rat-a-tat-a-tat Ratatouille Mar 21 at 8:09
    
how to use Firebug to see the URL? –  cipricus Sep 22 at 12:33
    
got it and added the details with image for Firebug –  cipricus Sep 22 at 12:50
    
Thanks @cipricus –  Simon Sep 24 at 2:25

Fiddler2 is a great tool for this. Think of it like Wireshark but for HTTP specifically. It will reveal exactly what your browser is doing. It works by setting itself up as a local HTTP proxy. Point your browser to it and it will reveal all of the connections that are made and what data is transmitted.

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This video demonstrates how to sniff a rtmp: URL with Wireshark, and how to stream with rtmpdump and play with vlc. Worked for me.

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If you 're not necessarily needing it as a stream in real time, you can use DonwloadHelper for Firefox. It lets you store the file behind the stream of offline viewing or viewing with any program you like.

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Well, in this case it is a stream and I don't think there is a file behind it. It is real-time streaming. And I need to watch it in real-time too. –  Svish Feb 27 '10 at 12:00
    
@Svish - I guess there is a file behind it. What do you think after all these years? :) –  cipricus Sep 22 at 12:10
    
@Svish - What I do not understand is that you have selected as definitive answer one that says to download the file. If that is done, it can be played with many players offline without the need for the URL! I am sure that all the interest and up-voting of the question comes from the how to find the real URL part, which makes sense only if the download part is put aside. –  cipricus Sep 22 at 12:18

URL Snooper or the "Grab++" module of Orbit Download Manager (be carefull for unwanted adware at install) could help you to analyze the network traffic and find the URL

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I would recommend this extension for Chrome, Grab Any Media.

It's translated into English, Italian, French, German, Portuguese (click the language flags on the right).

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What is it? What does it do? None of the page appears to be in English –  Simon Sheehan Oct 29 '11 at 19:24
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@Simon There are some flags which toggle a crappy automatic translation. –  slhck Oct 30 '11 at 15:41
    
@slhck thanks, they were somewhat hard to find :P –  Simon Sheehan Oct 30 '11 at 15:46

As seen from the many answers there must be many ways to do this, but maybe one of the easiest (especially for Firefox users) is the DownloadHelper addon, which has also the advantage of being available on all OSes.

  • Install the Firefox addon DownloadHelper,
  • run the flash stream in Firefox, the DownloadHelper button should start rolling,
  • click the drop-down menu,
  • put the mouse over the title of the video and then choose 'Copy URL'.

enter image description here


Some troubleshooting.

Testing such links with VLC I notice that in some cases the player cannot play them or even crashes. But this can be fixed as follows:

The last part of such URLs is something like /video.flv?start=0. Changing that to /video.flv? might make it work.

I discovered this when using the other solution, presented below, Internet Download Manager, in order to capture a such video stream: it displays the link but when trying to select it by clicking on it, IDM selects the URL without the last part start=0 (as seen in the image below). But many URLs can be opened in VLC with that last part too.


In Windows, Internet Download Manager is able to sniff such streams and capture them. Again, I find it easier to use in combination with a Firefox addon, FlashGot, but IDM can also be used alone with any browser. When ready to get the video, IDM displays the URL:

enter image description here


Considering the edit:

"Edit: The player is streaming an RTMP stream, not an FLV video file."

RTMP (Real Time Messaging Protocol) uses either FLV or MP4 as video format.


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